Cover by Tony Washington
|Author(s)||Walter Simonson & Louise Simonson|
|Artist(s)||Mike Bowden, Phil Moy, John Livesay, Sandra Hope|
|Publication date||April 15, 2009|
|Retail price||US: $2.99|
Showdown! is the 18th installment of the World of Warcraft comic.
Garona brings Twilight’s Hammer down on the peace summit at Theramore, further setting back relations between the Horde and the Alliance. But all is not as it seems as mysterious outside forces continue to hatch a plan of disruption. Could someone possibly be secretly aligned with the Scourge?
As the Twilight's Hammer's attack on the Theramore peace summit continues, Garona swoops towards Varian on her wyvern and throws a dagger at him. However, the king grabs the blade in mid-air and uses it to kill Garona's wyvern, forcing her down on the ground. The battle becomes more chaotic as even more cultists arrive, but Varian is focused only on killing Garona, who gloats that she'll slay the king the same way she slew his father. Internally, Garona scolds herself for making cheap talk and realizes that making two mistakes in a single mission isn't like her, remarking that it's as if she's fighting herself as well as Varian.
While Thrall battles an ogre, Anduin picks up a pistol from a dead goblin but is knocked back by the recoil when he tries to fire it. Stasia aims a fireball at him and Valeera, but they're saved when Rehgar steps in and shields them with earth. Rehgar comments that Valeera's skill has grown since he last saw her fight and tells her to teach Anduin to throw blades, since guns are unreliable.
Jaina teleports into the fray and shields Thrall from another of Stasia's fire blasts. She tells him to confront the other attackers while she deals with "the undead witch". Meanwhile, Varian continues dueling Garona, who thinks to herself that the king fights like two men. High above the battle, Med'an arrives on Snubnose. When he spots his mother's situation, he calls down lightning to push her and Varian apart and jumps down on the ground to talk to her. Garona is distraught by the sight of her son and tells him to stay away.
Elsewhere, an orc and a troll attack Valeera and Anduin. Valeera tells the prince to run, but Anduin is saved when Med'an jumps in to kill the orc with his axe. He explains that the attackers are his mother's foes as much as they are Anduin's. From above, Stasia spots Med'an and realizes that all of the Twilight's Hammer's plans will be foiled if the boy dies in the battle. She yells at the tauren Fanghorn to spare him. While Med'an is fighting Fanghorn, he hears his mother's voice and tries to turn around and tell her not to trust Stasia, but the tauren seizes the opportunity to slice him across the back. Stasia realizes that the cultists are losing the fight and that Med'an's presence threatens their entire plan. She decides to cut their losses and paralyze Garona to let Varian kill her while she takes the boy.
Stasia utters the control word, causing the half-orc to freeze while Varian is charging at her. Med'an gets to his feet, kills Fanghorn, and leaps at Varian to stop him. However, the king easily throws the boy aside. Anduin tells his father that Med'an saved his life, but the king merely replies that he's not a child killer but could make an exception for "Garona's cub". Stasia grabs hold of Med'an, uses a spell to turn him unconscious, and then flies away with the other surviving cultists, leaving Garona behind.
Garrosh charges at the assassin to kill her, but Jaina freezes him in his tracks and declares that as she is the ruler of Theramore, the half-orc is her prisoner and will be taken to the dungeon for questioning. Varian accuses the orcs of sending Garona, enraging Garrosh, but Thrall tells the mag'har to lower his weapon and reminds Varian that the Horde were attacked as well. Varian, Thrall, and Garrosh continue to argue until the king heads to the dungeon to question the prisoner himself. Rehgar, Valeera, and Anduin agree that neither Thrall, Varian, nor Jaina would orchestrate such an attack. Thrall and Rehgar speculate that the attack could be the work of the Scourge, a returned Burning Blade, or even the Twilight's Hammer.
In the dungeon, Varian tries to interrogate Garona, who is distant and unable to answer his questions. Jaina reminds him that the half-orc is her prisoner and that the king of all people should know what it's like to be magically enslaved. Varian tells Jaina to learn what she can from the prisoner while he faces the Scourge, but afterwards he will claim for execution.
Outside, Jaina talks to Thrall as he prepares to return to Orgrimmar and warns him to keep an eye on Garrosh. Thrall boards his zeppelin and the sorceress and warchief bid each other farewell, both sorry that the chance of an orc-human alliance has been ruined.
While teaching Anduin to throw daggers, Valeera sees a group of Theramore guards transporting Garona. One of the guards comments that Valeera, being a blood elf, was likely in league with the Horde among the attackers. Valeera responds by throwing a dagger through the haft of the guard's spear and telling him to keep his nose out of her business and that her loyalties are personal. Garona approaches Valeera and tells her that she will risk her life to fight her ensorcellment if they save Med'an from his kidnappers.
A short time later, Valeera relays this information to Varian and states that she wants to stay in Theramore to search for Garona's son. Anduin tells his father that Med'an wasn't on the attackers' side during the battle, and the two boys might have been friends if they had met under different circumstances. Varian replies that he still thinks that orcs, possibly Garrosh, are behind the attack. As he and Anduin board the ship back to Stormwind, the king tells Jaina that he has been attacked near a Theramore peace summit twice and will not return for a third parley. He will, however, come back for his father's murderer, and declares that no one will save Garona from the punishment she deserves.